Long-term durability of composites in secondary infrastructure applications

Kin Liao, Robert I. Altkorn, Scott M. Milkovich, Jose Gomez, Carl R. Schultheisz, L. Catherine Brinson, John M. Fildes, Bruce Brailsford

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Pultruded glass-fiber-reinforced composite coupons and I-beams were subjected to four-point-bend environmental fatigue, freezing and thawing, and salt spraying in the laboratory to study their long-term durability for infrastructure applications. Specimens have survived to over five million cycles under four-point bend fatigue at 30% of the flexural strength in air without showing signs of degradation. However, preliminary results suggested that water is detrimental to the life of the material during long-term fatigue. Freezing and thawing in 2% (by weight) NaCl solution resulted in a decrease in dynamic modulus, flexural modulus, flexural strength, and toughness of the composite. Spraying of composite I-beams and hybrid I-beams with carbon fiber outer layers with salt solution for nearly 1,300 hours at 19 °C does not seem to change their flexural moduli. Two composite structures are monitored in addition to laboratory testing. Field data collected from an all-composite pedestrian bridge for over 7 months does not suggest any change in its flexural modulus, and two composite walkway sections on a steel lift bridge have performed well in corrosion resistance since they were installed in November, 1995.

Original languageBritish English
Number of pages12
StatePublished - 1996
EventProceedings of the 1996 28th International SAMPE Technical Conference - Seattle, WA, USA
Duration: 4 Nov 19967 Nov 1996


ConferenceProceedings of the 1996 28th International SAMPE Technical Conference
CitySeattle, WA, USA


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